tv NBC Bay Area News at 11 NBC February 21, 2011 11:00pm-11:35pm PST
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building there. >> you're watching it, breaking news out of new zealand with the search for survivors continues after a strong earthquake shakes the south pacific to its very core. good evening, i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. it seems like a world away, but there are bay area links and families watching intently. the earthquake striking late this afternoon california time. here's the map. 6.3 magnitude. and it rocked the city of christchurch. tonight, reports of multiple deaths and serious injuries. >> the concrete in the building and they helped us down. >> reporter: how many of you got out? >> five of us. >> reporter: do you know how many of your colleagues are still in there? >> i think about ten from my work. >> imagine the terror. 65 people so far confirmed dead. and that number grimly expected to rise.
entire buildings folded blocks of concrete and steel now. new zealand is only the size of california with a population of just 4 million people. but the infrastructure there can't support the demand for communication during this type of natural disaster. the power lines and the phone lines are all knocked out. the prime minister calling it new zealand's darkest day. warning people to get out of their city for their own safety. and people there still doing what they can to help each other out through the initial shock and the devastation. >> just huge. it is huge. you know, the buildings are buildings. the important thing are the people. we don't know if there are people under the rubble. i feel there are. >> as you heard, that iconic cathedral suffered massive damage. you could see it crumbling during video earlier today. it's still too early to tell if anyone there is buried alive and if there are survivors in that
rubble. now home video surfacing at the moments when the quake first hit. massive chaos in the streets. we're told the airport is closed at this hour. the christchurch hospital evacuated. the city, as you may have heard already, was hit with another quake back in september. in fact, it was a bigger quake. but the damage was minimal. and there were no reports of fatalities. but that is different tonight. because as we just told you, at least 65 people dead tonight. a number sure to rise in lieu of what's happened. >> yeah, and unfortunately this is not a surprise for this region. new zealand sits on the pacific ring of fire, a hot seat of earthquake and volcano zones. >> about 90% of the world's quakes happen in this ring of fire. and california is right in the middle of it, too. >> a dubious distinction here. here's the 25,000-mile ring of fire we're referring to. it stretches from new zealand north towards as laslaska. then you see it south along our california coast.
our chief meteorologist engining us for a quick look at what this earthquake really tells us about earthquakes this our region. >> raj, as we've been talking about this earthquake, a 6.3 happening just on the edge of the pacific plate. it's actually the pacific plate that also sends jolts here in throughout california. so that pacific plate and the australian plate combines in their forces today to produce this deadly and international tragedy here as we now know at least 60 people have been confirmed dead from this quake. let's take you to some video. and what you're going to see is actually a big problem of what they're facing out there. that's when the solid ground loses any ability to carry any kind of weight. you're also seeing some video there of some pipes that have burst and water that's going into the streets. but it's that liquefaction that's undermined some of the buildings that have been hard hit by had quake.
we're going to zoom into the bay area. and we are also under this extreme danger of what's called liquefaction. in fact, 5% of the bay area is threatened by liquefaction, if we do have a moderate to strong earthquake and it's coincidentally our largest urban areas under the highest threat. as we zoom in, what i've done is i've highlighted the regions, if we were to see an earthquake, where it would be most vulnerable. that includes marina, embarcardero, market street and sole ma. certainly they strike back home here at the bay area. >> all right, thank you, jeff. and given what we know about earthquakes living here in the bay area, there are lots of families looking at new zealand and wondering if their loved ones are okay. jean elie will have a live report from families watching closely what's happening. now, there are some reports that suggest today's quake could be an aftershock from a magnitude 7.1 quake that struck
christchurch area last september. some of the buildings that crumbled today may have been weakened by that september quake. although september's earthquake was bigger, the difference is, it was deeper. and while it caused widespread damage to buildings, there were few injuries and no deaths reported. something we're not seeing tonight. very different scene there. now, after the quake hit, some photos started surfacing on twitter. witnesses posting images of disaster just as it unfolded. in just a few moments we'll go back live to new zealand to talk to a journalist covering that story. this holiday weekend coming to a tearful end. totally out of character. that's how a family member describes a rafting accident that left two walnut creek teenagers dead. they were best friends, and they died saturday. 16-year-old matthew miller and 17-year-old gavin powell, students in high school. they took an inflatable raft into a rain-swollen drainage
canal in walnut creek. they had helmets but no life preservers. cheryl hurd joins us from concord. you spent the evening talking to family and friends. i still can't get my arms around this. have they figured out exactly what happened on that creek? >> reporter: nobody can get their arms around this, raj. the autopsy report released earlier today says that both boys died from drowning. one of their bodies found near this area near concord avenue. both families unable to comprehend their grief. >> we're here just gathering together to help my sister. >> reporter: greg cable and his brother, robert, says helping their sister get over the accidental death of her only child, gavin, will be a painful journey. >> they didn't know anything about rafting. >> reporter: cable says his nephew, gavin, and his best friend, matt, set out for an adventure on saturday. their families reported the high school juniors missing when they didn't return home. >> they got it into their heads
that they would like to raft down contra costa creek. >> reporter: the bodies were found along the waterway about five miles from where they apparently launched their raft near mirrorwood elementary. cable says his sister knew rafting in the nearby waterway was something her son wanted to do. >> he brooched the sunbject, wouldn't it be cool? she said no, it's probably the dumbest thing you could think of. it obviously didn't sink in. >> reporter: their inability to navigate the swollen creek will be tough for peers to comprehend. gabriel ran cross-country track with miller. >> it's sad because he was a really nice kid and had a lot of potential. and we were interested in a lot of the same stuff. he seemed like a really nice guy. >> reporter: a memorial is growing near the area where it is believed the two launched their raft. restricted signs are posted on both sides of the overcrossing. >> i don't know what they were thinking. i don't know what they thought they would accomplish. you know, they had helmets.
even if they had life preservers, that wasn't going to help them. >> reporter: grief counselors will be available at the high school in walnut creek. a number of their family members and a number of their friends will also be planning memoriam services for the boys to celebrate their life. live in concord, i'm cheryl hurd, nbc bay area news. >> such a sad loss for their parents. thank you, cheryl. standing by their trees. residents of an apartment building in santa clara are going to bat for tall redwoods in their complex. management says the trees have to go, but the people who share space with those redwoods want them safed. and they're willing to fight for them. nbc bay area's george kitiyama has more on the nature battle. >> reporter: for years neighbors here in santa clara have enjoyed mighty tall redwoods that have stood side by stid neide next tr
homes. >> i think it's outstanding. my wife said we want that parmtd because of the fact that there were great-looking redwoods here. >> reporter: rants say they're upset after the complex management posted this notice on their doors. it states, quote, we have had to make the heart-breaking decision to continue the removal of select trees from the community. steve richardson was outraged after reading this notice and wanted to know why. >> well, they haven't responded. i mean, they haven't responded. it's going to continue on because they're determined to cut them. >> reporter: we tried to contact management, but they did not return our calls before deadline. the neighbors tell us they were told these redwoods have to go because they are affecting the billions foundation as well as the underground plumbing. there's also the issue of whether the apartment has permits to chop down these trees. the management told neighbors they do. >> if they're going to remove a tree, they have to get a permit. >> reporter: but the city has called for a halt until proof has been established. the issue has grown to the point the santa clara mayor has
stepped in. >> we're going to wait a day to make sure we can check city records to make sure either they have permission or they don't. >> reporter: permit or no permit, neighbors say they'll keep on fighting to save the trees. >> they're just stunning. and they make our hearts pound just looking at them. >> reporter: now, when mayor matthews goes back to work tuesday morning, he'll have a meeting with the planning department. he's going to ask if the proper permits have been issued. in santa clara, nbc bay area news. when we return, a heavy dose of the blues. the bay area mourning the loss of a music icon. we'll show you how he's being remembered. about $1,000 every year on tickets. >> different cities, different rules. many of us have moved our cars to avoid getting a parking ticket. but how far do you have to move to stay legal? just leading the signs won't tell you. but we will. what you need to know next. i'm chief meteorologist jeff
ranieri. another cold night with temperatures in the 40s across most of the board right tnow. and we are tracking a system offshore at this int. i'll have details on that plus when low snow could come to the bay area coming up. and we're following breaking news out of new zealand tonight. and new pictures just in of today's earthquake. when we return, bay area residents waiting forword, waiting for their loved ones overseas. ring ring. progresso. oh yes hi. can you put my grandma on the phone please? thanks. excuse me a sec. another person calling for her grandmother. she thinks it's her soup huh? i'm told she's in the garden picking herbs.
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parts of new zealand are in complete ruins. phone lines are jammed, communication is limited, and the airport closed. so people are again turning to the internet as the best way to spread information and get information across new zealand and across the world in some cases. that said, there are plenty of people here in the area regarding loved ones. our jean elie from berkeley with a family that's very anxious, jean. >> reporter: jessica, people from new zealand now living here in the bay area are glued to their computers tonight. they are hoping and searching for good news from loved ones. >> there's always the feeling that if you had been there, could you have helped? >> reporter: at his house in berkeley, todd sully feels helpless, knowing family and friends may be in trouble in new zealand's christchurch. the earthquake hit midday. buildings full of people at work collapsed. it's a chaotic scene. journalists working there are waiting to hear from loved ones.
now, we're having some technical difficulties, but todd sully here in berkeley is anxious to help. he's reaching out to agencies in anew zealand to see how the best way would be to fund raise and collect donations. so far he's been told to contact the red cross. jean elle, bay area news. thank you, jean. the death toll is 65 people after that magnitude 6.3 earthquake in new zealand. we move on and go in depth with the tricky parking situation. chances are you've been on the receiving end of a parking ticket. what if you followed all the posted signs, moved your car before your time was up, and still got that ticket? turns out the rules for parking are very different in every city. and some say the confusion is by design. here now is nbc's vicky nguyen.
>> reporter: the shiny light, tiny wheels, the unwelcome envelope tucked under the wipwi. >> i pay almost $1,000 every year on tickets in berkeley. >> parking's a pain in the butt. >> reporter: phillip couldn't forget. >> the set the alarm. went out and moved my car. moved to a spot on the other side. about 100 yards from where i was. there is my ticket. >> reporter: it's not that he can't afford the $49 fine. this is, after all, what he drives. >> i paid the ticket. >> reporter: but phillips says it's the principle of the parking rules. and the lack of posted signage to warn law-abiding drivers how far is far enough when reparking. he wrote the city to appeal his ticket, even including a witness statement showing that he moved his car. >> i don't mind if the signage is appropriate because then i can follow it. if i blow it, it's my fault. but if the sign doesn't say move your carr o move across. >> reporter: we tried contacting a berkeley spokeswoman to
clarify. we asked how far drivers need to move to avoid a ticket, where the rules were posted and why they weren't on any of the signs. she didn't answer any of our questions and told us no one could provide an interview. we have a question about parking. so we went to the front lines. can i ask you a quick question? how far do you have to move your car in berkeley for it to be considered a new spot? the best we could find, code from the city's website. such parking time limit shall be applicable for the total time period parked within one or more designated parking spaces. between intersecting streets. what does that mean to you? >> i have no idea. i don't know. >> i'm a teacher, and this would be challenging, i think, for most people to determine with a the meaning of it is. >> reporter: so what exactly are the rules? well, here in berkeley, you have to move your car across an intersection for it to count as a new parking space. in oakland, you have to cross an intersection or just move your car across the street.
in san francisco, moving your car across the street is not enough. here you have to move at least one-tenth of a mile for it to count as a new parking space. like berkeley, both oakland and san francisco don't post the specifics on their signs and only san francisco clearly spells out the rules on its websites. if you know where to find it. >> it would certainly help consumers if there was one consistent policy. >> it feels very much like a revenue-generating scam. >> reporter: last year san francisco collected $99 million in parking fines. oakland, $26 million. berkeley, $9 million. $49 of which were paid by phillip. after all his effort, he still lost his appeal, but not his shared pain with thousands of drivers who found one of these on their windshield. vicky nguyen, nbc bay area news. >> interesting. don't count on the chalk marks on your tires to warn you. some parking officers use
electronic twices, not chalk. by the way, we were tipped off by a viewer for this story. if there's something you want us to look into, let us know. send us an e-mail at email@example.com. you've heard of larger class sizes and extracurricular activities being cut back, but now schools are enacting another plan that has parents in a panic. money that was supposed to go toward classroom learning now being used just to keep the lights on. and schools are looking to bolster their budget mess are being forced to take it from the brightest kids. in the gifted program in your district at risk? that's tomorrow. our chief meteorologist, and we're going to flash back to 1976, the last time it snowed around here. >> by friday and saturday, we are going to be talking about some low snow. i don't think accumulations will get at this point, but it's something we're previewing. let's take a look at today's temperatures. we had 40s to mid and upper 50s
from san francisco to oakland. los gatos, our cold spot with 48 degrees. and take a look at this sunset out here. it is pretty sweet as we look here across san francisco. while it was cold out there, once you got above that cloud cover, our helicopter was able to capture that shot. 40s from the north bay to the east bay. no doubt 30s coming back as we head into tomorrow morning. it's also going to stay below average for tuesday. temperatures five to ten degrees below average. as raj hipted, we are going to be talking about low snow mixing into our forecast. over the next 18 hours, this system that's been offshore, that pushed in the cloud cover, it will continue to push to the south and wrapping in chilly air for us once again for tuesday, keeping conditions in the 50s. wednesday, still stays dry. but as we head into thursday, friday and saturday, more rain comes and another reinforcing shot of cold air that could, yes, have low snow down to the
valley floor. our early models showing rain/snow mix san francisco into livermore. that could still change. we'll monitor each and every day. otherwise tonight, temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40. and, of course, snow/rainfall either. as for tomorrow goes, it will stay on the cooler side once again. you'll certainly need the sl layers. it's going to stay, you know, pretty nice if you like this kind of weather. certainly need that jacket with you all day long. even though that sun's going to be out. as we head into our inland spolts, concord and fairfield, we're looking at low to mid-50s and 40s in the north bay. all right. your seven-day forecast has that low snow coming as we head into friday and saturday with possibly a dusting at this point of valley snow here. and it is very rare here for the bay area. we're going to watch it closely. but another cold blast coming our way. >> it's exciting. a positive spin. >> i'm fired up for the snow.
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for more than two decades every friday and saturday nitro and his bland, the door slammers, held court at the so lan in north beach. the 59-year-old died in his room above the bar. nitro spent his career playing the blues. friends will stage a tribute concert in redwood city at the end of march. when we return, we'll go to the desert and check in with the giants and a's andstg relations. we're back in a moment. ring ring. progresso.
live in phoenix. i don't know, i'm going with fear the sheen. >> take it away, lawrence. >> reporter: thanks, guys. you can't fear charlie too much. you actually know who's to blame for bringing together brian wilson and charlie scene, right? scott bakula. he starred in "major league 3: back to the minors," and sheen hates that movie so very much that he wants to bring back "major league 3" again. he's called in the big guns, yes, brian wilson as a consultant, flew him from fe phoenix to l.a. friday night. he got back in time for his session on saturday. yes, charlie sheen and brian wilson becoming fast friends. it all happened on twitter. it's twitter time. let's see that tweet from last monday. wilson tweet, "charlie sheen is legendary," all caps "i must meet." so he did. wilson has been dealing with a
sore back, but he was on the bull pen mound throwing hot sauce. he calls them beebees. he said he expects to face hitters wednesday or friday. the back is much better. here's the latest word from wilson today. >> great. it's a great game. clearly, you know, there's going to be speculation. what's going on with brian? what the heck? it's funny. it happens every spring. you know, at this stage of my career, it means a little bit more, you know. i'm not a rookie anymore. i understand why there would be a concern. i'm not concerned. the pitching staff's not concerned. the team's not concerned. i'm ready to go. let's do this. >> the giants' newest shortstop, miguel tejada, taking on a whole new level of seriousness. he's been around the block. he gets it. he understands the void in the infield and in the clubhouse with uribe and renteria finding new teams.
it's critical and he knows it. >> everywhere that i went, you know, i talk about baseball. that's what i'm here for. >> reporter: all right. the warriors are back at it tomorrow night hosting the boston celtics at the arena in oakland. and one huge note finally -- they finally did something with carmelo anthony. he's headed to the knicks in a blockbuster trade. but let's wrap up this presidents' day with a little fun that our friends over at comcast sports net bay area. they're family. and they had a little bit of president talk. we're by the railyard, by the way, in phoenix. we're by chase field. chase what matters. we're into the sound with brian wilson with our friends at comcast. >> which president's on the $50 bill?
the next time you go grab a sports drink, why not choose beer? >> it's not quite gatorade. a german company is brewing a nonalcoholic beverage for the united states sports crowd. you guys buy this? what's happening? bavarian brewmaster is pushing its concoction called alcohol free. that's the name of the drink. it's already the top nonalcoholic brew in germany. the company says it's vitamin rich with natural regenerative powers. so a 125-year-old company, they're going to start pushing it in the united states. >> think about it overnight. good night. and now "another viewpoint." >> our latest editorial stated we believe in teacher tenure reform. reform that protects effective teachers and refuses to give ineffective ones a hall pass.
your responses were passionate and polarizing. one teacher ex-claims, i can only do so much! many parents don't follow up at home with homework checking or don't participate in conferences. another counters, great editorial. we are the only profession that guarantees employment after two years. this is a socialistic profession. this viewer adds, when teachers are compensated like those in business, we will have a more competitive and motivated environment. finally, one educator says a little peer pressure isn't a bad thing. let other teachers evaluate them and put them on the shape up or ship out process. teachers wld not let ineffective bad teachers stick around. thanks for your feedback. join the debate onliners at nbceditorials.com. and every day, they do that